The best pet pooper scoopers
One vital, yet not so pleasant, part of pet ownership is cleaning up after your four-legged friend. Choosing a pet pooper scooper, rather than using disposable bags every time, is a more environmentally responsible way of cleaning up pet mess--plus, you can stay further from the action, as it were. Our guide has everything you need to consider when shopping for a pet pooper scooper, including our top picks for the best scoopers around. Our favorite pet pooper scooper is made by Spotty. We love its sturdy but lightweight design and its long handles, which negate the need to bend as you scoop.
Considerations when choosing pet pooper scoopers
Pet pooper scoopers can be divided into two categories: one-piece pooper scoopers and two-piece pooper scoopers. Two-piece designs are more common. They feature a dustpan for holding the waste and a rake or spade for getting it into the dustpan. They're great for quickly cleaning up larger areas (if you clear pet mess from your yard every few days, for instance), but they aren't portable enough for on-the-go use.
One-piece pooper scoopers usually have a jaw-like part on the bottom that you can open and close with a lever on the handle, though you'll occasionally find alternative designs. They're more portable than two-piece scoopers and are great for picking up single poops but are slow if you want to clear a large area.
A quality pooper scooper should be lightweight enough that it's easy to carry around but not so lightweight that it's flimsy and easy to break. This is a fine line, but there are plenty of options on the market that fit the bill.
The size of the part of the scooper that holds pet waste determines its capacity. Some pets produce bigger stools, so a small pooper scooper won't have a large enough capacity to clean up after them. You should also choose a large-capacity pet pooper scooper if you want to clear your yard in one session. Otherwise, you'll have to empty the scooper after collecting each mess.
The handle length of a pet pooper scooper determines whether or not you'll need to bend or stoop to pick up mess. If you leave pet mess in your yard and do a weekly poop-scooping session, you'd be wise to choose a pooper scooper that allows you to stand upright as you scoop, or you could hurt your back. Some models have extendable handles to suit users of different heights.
The majority of pet pooper scoopers are either metal or plastic, although some models feature wooden handles. Metal pooper scoopers are generally more durable than plastic options, but they're slightly heavier and tend to cost more.
You can find some basic pet pooper scoopers for less than $10, but these are generally flimsy and ineffective, so it's better to pay at least $10 to $20 for a mid-range option. The best, most durable pet pooper scoopers are priced between $20 and $40.
Q. How should I clean my pet pooper scooper?
A. Pet pooper scoopers will get dirty over time, especially if your pet suffers from an upset stomach. Hosing off the scooper after use will go a long way toward keeping it clean, but you might occasionally need to scrub it with hot, soapy water and a bit of bleach to kill bacteria. Leaving it in direct sunlight every now and then will also help get rid of bacteria.
Q. Do pet pooper scoopers work on all surfaces?
A. In theory, yes, but some models work better on particular surfaces. Pet pooper scoopers with rakes, for instance, are generally more effective on grass and gravel than on hard surfaces, such as concrete.
Pet pooper scoopers we recommend
Best of the best: Spotty Metal Tray with Rake
Our take: A sturdy aluminum pet pooper scooper with wooden handles and comfortable rubber grips.
What we like: The long handles and rubber grips make it comfortable to use without bending. Fairly light but not flimsy. Easy to clean.
What we dislike: Not portable for use on dog walks.
Best bang for your buck: Nature's Miracle Non-Stick Advanced Jaw Scoop for Pet Waste Pickup
Our take: This one-piece pet pooper scooper can be used one-handed for convenience and offers exceptional value for the money.
What we like: Available in three sizes. Works on all kinds of hard and soft surfaces. Features antimicrobial protection.
What we dislike: Can only pick up one mess before it needs emptying.
Choice 3: Four Paws Rake Scooper
Our take: The unusual design of this pet pooper scooper is an effective alternative to jaw scoops and two-piece models.
What we like: Impossible to misplace parts since the scoop and rake are attached. Easy-grip handles. Won't damage grass.
What we dislike: Doesn't handle large messes effectively. Some find it tricky to use.
Lauren Corona is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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